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Know Your Hazards

Move One asserts dangerous goods must be handled with extreme caution, adhering to strict guidelines and in accordance with international standards

By Marko Lukic
April 18, 2012

The global transportation of commodities has become a necessity in the modern world, with customers expecting the seamless delivery of their freight. This includes the movement of dangerous goods, also known as hazardous material, or HAZMAT.

HAZMAT includes all hazardous goods, substances and wastes, explosives, flammable or radioactive materials, poisons and chemicals that may pose a danger to a person’s health or safety, property or the environment. This chance of danger increases during transportation, where a minor incident could easily turn into a major catastrophe.

More than 800,000 hazardous material shipments occur every day in the United States alone. Although hazardous, such substances and materials are often crucial for production of many essential products, such as medical substances and equipment, machine engines and other products that are essential for society, welfare and economy.

Normally, the production of substances and other HAZMAT includes different resources, raw materials and electrical power. Production facilities are usually situated close to these resources, but customer facilities that use HAZMAT are, in many cases, located elsewhere. Therefore, requirements for transportation of HAZMAT are continually rising.

The transport of dangerous goods is severely regulated in order to prevent harm to individuals and the environment, damage to property and transport vehicles, or other goods traveling with the shipment. Besides being subject to differing country-specific regulations, dangerous goods can also be subject to work safety regulations, storage regulations, consumer and environmental protection laws.

One of the most important steps in this sensitive process is the classification of HAZMAT. This is important for many reasons, the prevailing one is that the nature of the substance itself points to the potential danger it possesses. Furthermore, classification will, in most cases, determine the correct handling and packing required and the mode of transportation to be used.

Dangerous goods are divided into classes based on the specific chemical characteristics producing the risk. The full list of the classes is as follows:

Explosives, Blasting Agents
Flammable Gas, Nonflammable Gas, Poisonous Gas, Oxygen, Inhalation Hazard
Flammable Liquids, Combustible, Fuel Oil, Gasoline
Flammable Solids, Spontaneously Combustible Solids, Dangerous When Wet
Oxidizing Agents (other than organic peroxides), Organic Peroxide Oxidizing Agents (either in liquid or solid form)
Poison, Biohazard
Miscellaneous (such as asbestos, air-bag inflators, self-inflating life rafts, dry ice)

Apart from proper classification, it is of utmost importance that HAZMAT are properly packed, labeled, marked, and shipped, respecting numerous regulations and laws in this area, from local legislation to UN recommendations for HAZMAT transportation. It requires equipment, well developed procedures, knowledge and experience. In one word, it requires – people; well trained, responsible, reliable and knowledgeable.

All entities involved in transportation of HAZMAT, and especially employees of transportation companies, have to be specially trained to handle hazardous materials. They are not only responsible for the goods but also their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of other people, infrastructure and environment. For that reason, only highly experienced staff should be involved in the transportation of such goods, and should be constantly trained in order to keep the potential risk at the lowest possible level.

Move One has extensive experience handling HAZMAT, including ammunition, fuel samples, shipments containing radioactive material such as X-ray machines, flammable chemicals, vehicle engines, and aircrafts and helicopters. According to Andras Horvath, Move One Team Leader for Iraq, all shipments are handled with extreme caution. “It is our primary obligation to ensure that the storage, handling and transportation of dangerous goods is strictly controlled to eliminate the potential risk associated with these shipments,” he explains.

Move One has years of experience in creating and delivering custom-made, tailored solutions for the handling and transportation of dangerous goods and hazardous materials. Our operating environments often include war-stricken countries and remote regions which present a unique set of challenges in addition to the HAZMAT cargo. We rely on our experienced teams on the ground, our knowledgeable management, as well as our network of industry specialized partners to deliver turn-key solutions at international standards.

Over the years, Move One has handled nearly all forms of HAZMAT transportation, from the most benign materials such as crude oil samples to explosive ordinance. Our range of services include the provision of specialized packaging, customs clearance, air freight (including charters), sea freight, ground handling, trucking and storage, as well as door to door service to most anywhere worldwide.

For further information about Move One’s logistic services, please contact Karl Trottier at

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